Our community project at Windlesham Manor



For our community project, we had agreed to visit Windlesham Manor, once the home of the infamous Conan Doyle and now an assisted living residence for the elderly. We had decided that our goal was to bring some cheer to the residents during the Christmas period and hope to provide them with some entertainment and company.


The date was set for the final Wednesday of the college term, a half day at the college and a safe bet for everyone being able to come together that day.

Our project was very much a team effort. From proposing the idea, to approaching several suitable venues, writing the risk assessment, providing equipment and entertaining and chatting with the residents on the day: everyone played their part in making the activity a success. We decided to run a Christmas-themed quiz as the residents had already enjoyed a musician earlier that day and we felt that they may have had sufficient music for one day. We were also advised during an earlier reconnaissance visit that the residents enjoyed a quiz and that this would be well received.


It was a grey and rainy December day when we arrived at Windlesham house.

Notwithstanding the dreary weather outside we were very warmly welcomed and appreciated the festive atmosphere
within the historic home. A few residents were snoozing after lunch but many were alert and ready for their next activity. The quiz was designed to make it accessible for the audience with a mix of fun, easy questions and a few more obscure questions to draw out any linguists or culinary whizzes in the room. One resident remarked afterwards that she enjoyed it as it reminded her of knowledge that she still had but wouldn’t normally think about.

After the quiz, we spent some time drinking tea and mingling with the residents, chatting and learning more about them until it was time for us to leave. We found this humbling and at times, challenging recognizing that communication is not always accessible or easy. There was also a lot of laughter and connection that felt good after some anxiety about how the event would be delivered and received. As a group, we also enjoyed the build-up to and the delivery of the event. It provided us with opportunities to share our ideas and worries as well as witness different attributes that we each possess in a different environment.